House of Travel’s cruise ace, Annie Mellor, reveals all the joys of a Caribbean cruise, her love for the islands, and why this exotic region should be on everyone’s agenda.
1 |The Caribbean holds a special place in my heart
because it is so very different from any other island cruising region. The combination of the slave and colonial history, the music and the dance, the soft colours and fabulous climate, make a Caribbean holiday all that you could dream of. The Caribbean people are very friendly and there is always a positive “yeah maan” response to any request.
2 | There’s nothing better than experiencing the Caribbean
by cruise because you experience the full diversity of the Caribbean. From the Rastafarian culture to the French island of Martinique or the fascinating Panama Canal. You can enjoy pristine Virgin Gorda beach in the Virgin Islands and the vibrant life of modern-day Cuba.
3 | I love hearing the music.
After a swim in the clear turquoise waters you can wander along a white sand beach in bare feet towards the sound of drums and reggae beating from a beach hut. You can dance in the morning to the Cuban full band in a relaxed bar atmosphere, or move to the disco beats at Margheritaville of Jimmy Buffet fame in Jamaica’s Montego Bay.
4 | I will never forget one amazing day
swimming in a clear lagoon with giant manta rays who graciously massaged my back with their massive fins. After a luscious poolside lunch on-board the ship we headed to the Cayman Islands, home of approximately 150 banks, for a little rum tasting and jewellery shopping. The day ended with a fabulous farewell dinner as we reflected on the diversity, colour and warm welcome we had received. We glided quietly at dawn into sparkling Miami, promising to return on another Caribbean cruise.
5 | I always like to add a Caribbean cruise to my US holiday
because it is a wonderfully relaxing way to travel after a busy schedule. A cruise takes you away from the big US cities, the crowds and the hassle of packing and unpacking. You can truly relax in paradise!
> Find out more about holidays in North and South America
THE PANAMA CANAL ADD-ON
ONE OF THE SEVEN WONDERS OF THE MODERN WORLD.
When you consider 20,000 workers died while constructing the Panama Canal, you can appreciate the full complexity of its purpose. Panama is mountainous, so if you want to transit from the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea, without circling South America, you’re going to need a series of locks. For cruisers, these passages are a highlight of any Panama Canal itinerary. On lock days, make sure you’re up early and assemble on the bow. From here you’ll get the best views of this great feat.
CARIBBEAN CRUISE TIP SHEET By ANNIE MELLOR, HOT Cruises
1. GETTING THERE
Fly Auckland to Florida: the main gateway to the Caribbean with five ports to sail from. VISIT. You can cruise East Caribbean or West Caribbean, ideally in 7 days. Or you can combine both over 14-days.
Not required with an NZ passport.
Every island will take US dollars, except Cuba, where Euros or British Pound is preferred.
4. WHEN TO GO
Year-round. Hurricane season runs June – Nov. Cruises still sail but we recommend a West Caribbean itinerary because most hurricanes stir in the east.
Shopping, rum tasting, Jamaican cooking classes and more. Several cruise lines own private islands. Soft white sand, warm water, enormous pools and fully catered — for your cruise only.
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View more at https://www.houseoftravel.co.nz/holidays/cruise